Thursday, October 16, 2014

Carpe Diem Every Day: Fall

Those of us who live in regions with seasons know well that poignant moment each autumn when we notice the first leaf twirl it's way to the ground.

Even though we know to expect it,  it is usually still met with shock and awe. Also, it's very motivating.
That single messenger leaf comes bearing the loud and clear announcement that we are all crossing an important threshold.
From that leaf forward, the pace picks up around things like stacking firewood, preserving the harvest, winterizing the property, and moving coats, scarves and umbrellas to the front of the closet.
As our minds begin the shift from the long active days of summer and sun and projects, we begin to remember things like soup, rain, movies, the holidays, and rest.

In British Columbia, I recognize the combination of dry weather and falling leaves can be very brief, and I've come to appreciate it as a poetic phenomenon of nature. As fallen leaves begin to dry on the ground, they curl and bend to become inspiring miniature sculptures. Their colors are bright, rich and varied.

Rain is never far off from this special moment, and will change the scenery dramatically, pressing everything into the earth, or literally carrying things away in streams or wind.
Also, with the arrival of colder temperatures, colors deepen, and much of the world becomes a hushed backdrop to the final fall operas sung  by some vivid vines, trees and grasses. I love the way the palette in nature is constantly refreshing itself in this part of the world.

I took this photo (iPhone) recently when the world here was still dry. The leaves had just begun to fall, taking the longest routes down that they could before delicately resting themselves here and there in perfect randomness.

Sure enough, it rained the very next day…

Enjoy your world today!

Drawing: Portrait of dried leaves, 1816, Friedrich Oliver.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

El Molino

Here's a photo I took last year of El Molino. It's a renovated very old mill, surrounded by olive groves, about an hour up into the hills from the coastal town of Malaga. There is a beautiful courtyard in the center where meals are served, and a large patio and pool at the back. This is where the magic happens during Flavour of Spain art holidays!

This quote happened to cross my path by email yesterday, in a newsletter I subscribe to

"Have you ever felt shivers on the back of your neck and goose bumps on your arms when you hear an idea that makes you want to follow it? Or felt as though something is laying a path for you?" - Elizabeth Gilbert

Carpe Diem

Oh my…As we turn the corner, heading into fall,  the year ahead is already coming into view.
It's time to sign up for Spain, people!  In fact, the course/holiday is about half full already!  If you'd like to come, now is the time to decide to take the plunge…carpe diem! Book your spot, and block out MAY 2-10, 2015 in your calendar. If travel, art, photography, food, flamenco, rest and laughter sounds like your kind of fun, I'm fairly certain you'll be glad you did…
Last year was such an awesome experience, both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. Being with a group of people gathered for a common purpose is pretty inspiring, especially with cameras and sketchbooks out. There is no pressure, just pure encouragement to create. Also….a hugely wonderful part of each Flavour of Spain creative adventure is FLAVOUR!  Except for when we're out and about on excursions, lunches and dinners are lovingly and expertly prepared by hosts Mike and Hilary Powell. I love to cook and was thrilled to discover flavors that were totally new and delicious. Their food is up there with best I've ever had.  I was also blown away by the olive oil and the wines! 
If you’ve been longing to indulge your inner artist, 8 nights and 9 days among the olive groves of southern Spain, in the season of wildflowers oughta do it. Many who came last year said it was the trip of a lifetime.
Artist Gail Short and I have created a really unique course especially for Spain 2015. It combines sketching, painting and photography (sometimes all at the same time!- you'll see). Whether you're coming with no experience or a lot, we feel sure you'll enjoy and grow from the discussions and exercises we have planned. 

In addition to instruction, the whole package includes comfortable accommodation, unforgettable gourmet cuisine and Spanish wines, an evening out to see an intimate, professional flamenco performance, and day trips to explore traditional whitewashed villages, with sketchbooks and cameras in hand of course. Space is limited…so carpe diem!  You only need to put down $250 to hold your spot. The holiday is organized by Flavour of Spain. The total cost is $3690 excluding air fair. Reservations are made by contacting their travel agent Cindy Horton at Travel Concepts in Vancouver: 1-800-661-7176 or (604) 926-8511. 
Feel free to contact me for any additional information about our course, or Cindy for additional information about the trip overall.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Artcraft is open, it must be Summer…

Greetings, on a fine June day.
Our local artists' showcase, Artcraft, opens this evening for the summer season!
Each year, artists come out of the woodwork to share new creations with the public from June to September,  and during the winter holidays. Artcraft happens in beautiful Mahon Hall, directly across from Ganges Harbour, in the heart of Ganges, on Salt Spring Island.
Oh…and while you're there, if you enjoy coffee, DEFINITELY try the cappuccino at the little green box, that is Salt Spring's own Mt. Maxwell Roasters, right out front. Mamma mia, they make a fabulous coffee.
Here's a sneak peek at my offerings this year. I decided to continue my miniatures series for the second year in a row. Later in the summer, I plan to bring out a few brand new surprises as well…still tinkering, which is more than half the fun.

About the Work:

The series of images I’m showing at Artcraft this year are 3x3 inch miniatures. They are a collection of fleeting moments in time.  Each one represents a pause, a silent -but not small- “wow”.

When I have a camera with me, or even my phone, I sometimes feel compelled to record, for all time, something that feels like more than the beautiful scene I in front of me. As much as anything, they are capsules of celebration. In each of the instants shown in the small white frames, I have felt the kindness of a gift received. I have often stood in awe,  curiosity and wonder,  and for sure – gratitude.
The collection started as a series of images that I saw as a sort of strand of  “why-I-love-Salt Spring”  pearls, and has been growing from there.

With just a few exceptions, these images are of  Salt Spring, taken during the course of day to day life throughout the year.  The  location is noted on the back of each  piece.
I have included some images taken in other locations beyond Salt Spring, however,  because the spirit in which they came about, makes them so compatible. Those locations are also noted on the pieces.  
Lastly, included for the same reasons, are a few black and white images worked from photographs found in antique stores. That information is noted on the backs as well.

What all of the images share in common, I believe, is that they are each a small window onto the world that surrounds us. Even by the tiniest glimpse, we may be reminded that each moment holds unique and boundless magnificence.

Each image is an archival pigment print on fine are cotton paper, sealed several times for protection, then mounted to birch wood panels and finally trimmed in hand made frames.

Most of the color pieces are also hand-painted with acrylics. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bon Voyage Maya Angelou

"But still, like air, I’ll rise.…"

For Maya Angelou. April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014.

Her words, like seeds, will travel far and forever, planting deeply, as they have always done, into the hearts and minds of all the souls they reach.

Here's the full text of Maya Angelou's poem Still I RiseAnd a wonderful clip of an interview with her here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Diamonds Everywhere

New Year’s greetings from the studio!
This part of the world is cool and grey today. But the palette is
vibrant and complex, and elegant lines etch a poem into the whole landscape.
On still days like today, the scene is animated mostly by birds.
And there are diamonds. They are strewn everywhere.
A bead of rainwater held in place, temporarily, by two thorns reminded me
of a gem in it's setting.

Since my last post, I’ve been across the world and back again!
The quiet winter months are perfect for processing
images and thoughts gathered along the way. 
You will be the first to see my favorites, as I post them here on my blog.

For now, I'd just like to share these vitamins for our creative souls ~ They're photos from my walk on Saturday, of nature wearing her winter jewels. 

May 2014 be excellent, and may you be inspired every single day.

For now,